Programmatic & Digital Media Glossary

Lost in the Acronym Jungle? Don’t worry, Lens Academy has produced a list of terms and clarification of all acronyms used in the digital media industry. Start browsing the terms in alphabetical order.


A/B testing

A/B testing refers to a methodology used by marketers to test two different treatments of a given ad unit, typically isolating a difference in things like email subject lines, headlines, layouts or colour treatments. In A/B testing, the control is typically the creative treatment currently in use and tested against a new variant to better optimize a given campaign. A/B testing helps determine which treatment works better based on key performance indicators like open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates.

Above the fold

A term derived from offline print media, “above the fold” originated from newspapers where the most important story or image appeared in the top half of the newspaper. Despite its print origins, this phrase has also been applied to digital media. Traditionally describing a PC viewing experience, the phrase “above the fold” referred to whether web content was displayed without requiring a viewer to scroll down on a web page.

Activity audit

Independent verification of measured activity for a specified time period. Some of the key metrics validated are ad impressions, page impressions, clicks, total visits and unique users. An activity audit results in a report verifying the metrics. Formerly known as a count audit.

Access platform

A method for customers to access digital media. Depending on usage of term, it may consist of hardware and/or a browser.

Ad audience

The number of unique users exposed to an ad within a specified time period.

Ad banner

Ad banners (also known as banner ads) are one of the most dominant forms of advertising on the internet. Banner ads are a form of display advertising that can range from a static graphic to full motion video.

Ad blocker

Software on a user’s browser which prevents advertisements from being displayed.

Ad campaign audit

An activity audit for a specific ad campaign.

Ad click

The user activity of pressing a navigation button or hitting the enter key on the keyboard on an advertisement unit on a Web site (banner, button or text link). (See Click-through).

Ad creative pixel

A pixel request embedded in an ad tag which calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad. See web beacon.

Ad delivery

Two methods are used to deliver ad content to the user – server-initiated and client-initiated, which are explained in the diagrams below.

Ad delivery system (or ad server for advertiser)

Is a web server dedicated to the delivery of advertisement focus on the buying side. This specialization enables the tracking and management of advertising related metrics and allows the advertiser to create ad tag, which contains the creativity.

Ad Stiching

Server-side ad insertion, also known as “dynamic ad insertion” or simply “ad stitching,” is a technology that lets publishers stitch their video and ad content together on the CMS level rather than on the level of the browser. It’s a technology that’s been around for years but one that’s picked up steam as ad blocking has become a bigger concern for publishers.

Arbitrage (advertising)

When online advertising exploded, the amount of remnant inventory did too — there were an infinite number of webpages and, in theory, an infinite amount of inventory. Networks then began to increase the value of ad inventory by, for example, placing cookies or writing algorithms. Put simply, the agency is both buying and selling, and implies a lack of transparency about the process. Ad networks do arbitrage by going to publishers, negotiating a low price on impressions or inventory, then reselling them. They even do some amount of value-add. The problem happens when agencies start playing with this model and doing it as part of their programmatic strategies.

Arbitrage (economics)

Arbitrage, in economics, is just an opportunity to buy an asset for a low price, then turn around and sell it at a higher price in a different market — pocketing the spread in price.

Acquisition rate

Percentage of participants who opted in to participate in a digital campaign. The acquisition rate = total participants/total audience.

Ad creative

The format, design and content in a particular unit of advertising. In digital media, ad creative may refer to a specific email, a display banner, a video or other piece of branded content.

Ad exchange

An ad exchange is a sales channel between publishers and ad networks that can also provide aggregated inventory to advertisers. They provide a technology platform that facilitates automated auction based pricing and buying in real-time. Ad exchanges’ business models and practices may include features that are similar to those offered by ad networks.

The definition of an ad exchange excludes technology platforms that exclusively provide tools that enable direct media buying and selling between exchange participants.

Ad impression

A metric expressing each time an ad is served and displayed, whether it is seen or not, whether it is clicked on or not.

Ad injection

Ad injection is a technique by which ads are surreptitiously inserted in webpages without getting the permission of site owners or paying them. The practice takes multiple forms. In one, ads are inserted on top of those that already appear, making the original ads impossible to see (and hurting publishers’ viewability scores). Injected ads can also replace other ads entirely, or appear on pages that weren’t supposed to include ads at all.

Ad inventory

The amount and types of ad space a publisher has available for an advertiser to buy.

Ad network

Ad networks provide an outsourced sales capability for publishers and a means to aggregate inventory and audiences from numerous sources in a single buying opportunity for media buyers. Ad networks may provide specific technologies to enhance value to both publishers and advertisers, including unique targeting capabilities, creative generation, and optimization. Ad networks’ business models and practices may include features that are similar to those offered by ad exchanges.

Ad optimization

A means of improving campaign performance through automated and semi-automated means, usually through a systematic approach. Ad optimization often focuses on cost (especially prices in automated bidding), targeting or creative, gleaning performance improvements through testing.

Ad ops

The team/function that is responsible for trafficking and optimizing digital ad campaigns.

Ad request

The request for an advertisement as a direct result of a user’s action as recorded by the ad server. Ad requests can come directly from the user’s browser or from an intermediate Internet resource, such as a Web content server.

Ad rotation

The ability to show multiple ads in a single location, varying the treatment displayed on each new page load and/or within a single page load. Ads are generally rotated to either avoid consumer wear-out or as a part of ad optimization and testing.

Ad server

An ad server is a web server dedicated to the delivery of advertisement. This specialization enables the tracking and management of advertising related metrics.

Ad serving

Delivery of online adverts to an end user’s computer by an ad management system. The system allows different online adverts to be served in order to target different audience groups and can serve adverts across multiple sites. Ad Technology providers each have their own proprietary models for this.

Ad space

A space within an application that has been reserved for the display of advertising.

Ad stitching

Server-side ad insertion, also known as “dynamic ad insertion” or simply “ad stitching,” is a technology that lets publishers stitch their video and ad content together on the CMS level rather than on the level of the browser. It’s a technology that’s been around for years but one that’s picked up steam as ad blocking has become a bigger concern for publishers.

Ad tag

Software code that an advertiser provides to a publisher or ad network that calls the advertisers ad server for the purposes of displaying an advertisement.

Ad tracking

The method for recording campaign delivery metrics between ad-servers. Third party ad-serving tags or 1×1 tracking pixels are commonly used to facilitate the capturing of such data.

Ad unit

An ad or set of ads displayed as a result of a piece of ad code executing. That’s used for promotional messaging and paid for with the intent of promoting a product or service, e.g. a display banner on a publisher’s site, a pre-roll video on a video sharing platform, etc.

Ad view

When the ad is actually seen by the user. Note this is not measurable today. The best approximation today is provided by ad displays.

Add to cart

The user activity of storing merchandise in a virtual shopping cart that the user intends to later purchase from an online e-commerce website. This enables users to continue browsing and “check-out” later or alternately delete these items from the cart.


A brand offering a product or service, either to consumers or businesses, that pays for promotional messages to create awareness of the brand or offering.

Advertising banner

A graphic advertising image displayed on a Web page.

Advertising network

Also known as “ad networks,” a company that provides a single point of contact for sales representation for multiple websites by aggregating all the sites’ advertising inventory. Ad networks are used by advertisers, agencies to reach audiences and by publishers, typically to sell remnant inventory.

Affiliate marketing

An agreement between two sites in which one site (the affiliate) agrees to feature content or an ad designed to drive traffic to another site. In return, the affiliate receives a percentage of sales or some other form of compensation generated by that traffic.


An organization that, on behalf of clients, plans marketing and advertising campaigns, drafts and produces advertisements, places advertisements in the media. In interactive advertising, agencies often use third party technology (ad servers) and may place advertisements with publishers, ad networks and other industry participants.

Aggregate campaign data

Data combined from several advertising campaigns to create a segment where campaign level data is not identifiable.

Agnostic approach

No preferred partners. E.g. “Lens Academy is the agnostic learning hub”, it means neutral, doesn’t have any preferred partner so there’s no sponsorship of 3rd party products or solutions.


A set of rules established for making a calculation. Online, algorithms are commonly used to determine the listings shown via search engines and for automated methods of ad trading and delivery.


Detailed statistics about website or app usage patterns, used by marketers to optimize advertising campaigns, improve user experiences, and understand customer behavior.


An intermediary which prevents Web sites from seeing a user’s Internet Protocol (IP) address.


Average order value, the average spend per customer


An API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of commands, the language that programmers or developers use to communicate with a specific piece of software or hardware.

Applications (Apps)

Software solutions that allow PCs, smartphones and tablets to perform useful functions beyond the running of the computing device itself. Commonly called “apps” when referred to in the context of smartphone and tablet devices.


Publishers that take advantage of the alternative payment models they are buying and selling leads or sales through.


It’s a portmanteau of two seemingly opposite words, athletic and leisure, which both the media and fashion industry have adopted to describe the ubiquity of leggings, tank tops and sneakers in everyday wear. Athleisure reflects a larger shift in society, where people are not only adopting healthier lifestyles but also looking for more comfort and functionality in their clothing. Social media hasn’t hurt its spread, either.


The process of connecting an ad event to a consumer action; or, more broadly, the process of connecting any consumer touch point a brand provides to a desired response. Attribution is an increasingly hot topic among brand marketers. Put simply, attribution is how much of a customer’s decision can you attribute to a certain channel.


An audience is the group of people who visit a specific web site or who are reached by a specific ad network.

Audience measurement

The counting of unique users (i.e. audience) and their interaction with online content. At a campaign level, this service is conducted by a third party to validate that a publisher delivered what an advertiser had requested. At the industry level, this service enables media buyers to understand which brokers of online content to negotiate with to reach a specific audience.

Audience targeting

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on their shared behavioral, demographic, geographic and/or technographic attributes. Audience targeting uses anonymous, non-PII data.


Authentication is the process of attempting to verify the digital identity of the sender of a communication such as a request to log in.  The sender being authenticated, often referred to as the principal, may be a person using a computer, a computer itself or a computer program.

Average view time

Refers to the average amount of time the video ad was played by users.

B2B (business to business)

Commercial transactions between an organization and other organizations.

B2C (business to consumer)

Commercial transactions between an organization and consumers.

Baby boomers generation

People born between 1946–1964. Here below their main characteristics:

  • Give maximum effort
  • Accepting of authority figures in the workplace
  • Results driven
  • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term
  • Retain what they learn


The transmission rate of a communication line – usually measured in Kilobytes per second (Kbps). This relates to the amount of data that can be carried per second by an internet connection. See also Broadband.


A graphic advertising image displayed on a Web page.


A web beacon, also known as a web bug, 1 by 1 GIF, invisible GIF, and tracking pixel, is a tiny image referenced by a line of HTML or a block of JavaScript code embedded into a web site or third party ad server to track activity.

The image used is generally a single pixel that is delivered to the web browser with HTML instructions that keep it from affecting the web site layout. The web beacon will typically include user information like cookies on the HTTP headers, and web site information on the query string.

Web beacons are used to collect data for web site and ad delivery analytic, and also specific events such as a registration or conversion:

  • Ad Creative Pixel – A web beacon embedded in an ad tag which calls a web server for the purpose of tracking that a user has viewed a particular ad.
  • Conversion Pixel – A web beacon that transmits to a third-party server that a user has successfully completed a process such as purchase or registration.
  • Piggyback Pixel – A web beacon that embeds additional web beacons not directly placed on the publisher page.
  • Secure Pixel – A web beacon that is delivered over HTTPS.

Behavioral targeting

Using previous online user activity (e.g., pages visited, content viewed, searches, clicks and purchases) to generate a segment which is used to match advertising creative to users (sometimes also called Behavioral Profiling, Interest-based Advertising, or online behavioral advertising). Behavioral targeting uses anonymous, non-PII data.

Below the fold (BTF)

Below the Fold – (BTF) a term derived from newspaper print advertising, this means that an ad is placed on a website below the scroll line as the page is viewed before any scrolling occurs; out of view before scrolling

Black list

A list of IP addresses that have been reported and listed as “known” sources of spam. There are public and private blacklists. Public blacklists are published and made available to the public.


An online space regularly updated presenting the opinions or activities of one or a group of individuals.

Bounce rate

Figured as a percentage, this compares the number of visitors to a website who arrive and immediately leave vs. those who stay and spend time on the site; can be used to measure the effectiveness of a website, a search campaign or an ad campaign.

Brand advocate

A customer who has favorable perceptions of a brand, who will talk favorably about a brand to their acquaintances to help generate awareness of the brand or influence purchase intent.

Brand awareness

Research studies can associate ad effectiveness to measure the impact of online advertising on key branding metrics.

Brand equity

The brand assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand’s name and symbol that add to (or subtract from) a service.

Brand metrics

Measurable KPIs associated with branding objectives, such as brand lift, affinity, or favorability.


A software program that can request, download, cache and display documents available on the World Wide Web.


A persistent, graphical element that appears in the video environment. Clicking on it will take the user to a website.

Cache memory

Used to store web pages users have seen already. When users re-visit those pages they load more quickly because they come from the cache and don’t need to be downloaded over the internet again.

Cache date

This is the date when the search robot last visited a page. It is usually indicated within the search engine results page.

Cached page

Google robots take a snapshot of each page visited as they crawl the web. These are stored and used as a backup if the original page is unavailable.


In traditional marketing, an campaign is a series of advertisement messages that share a single idea and theme. In digital advertising, a campaign will refer to a set of ad buys from a specific ad network or publisher.

Call to action (CTA)

An instruction often embedded in advertising that explains how to respond to an opt-in for a particular promotion or mobile initiative.


A company that provides wireless telecommunication services.

Check ins

Executed via a GPS enabled mobile device that allows a user to declare they are at a specific location.

Classified advertising

A form of advertising which is particularly common in newspapers, online and other periodicals which may be sold or distributed free of charge. Classified advertising is called such because it is generally grouped under headings classifying the product or service being offered (headings such as Accounting, Automobiles, Clothing etc) and is grouped entirely in a distinct section, which makes it distinct from display advertising. Display advertising typically contains graphics or other art work and which is more typically distributed throughout a publication adjacent to editorial content.

Click tracking URL

Also known as click through URL or click command. This is used to record the number clicks delivered on an advertising banner. Commonly used when third party ad-serving is not compatible and run alongside the 1×1 tracking pixel.

Click through

The process that takes a mobile subscriber to a jump or landing page once the mobile subscriber has clicked on the link site.

Click through rate (CTR)

Used to measure the success of a mobile or online advertising campaign. CTR = number of users who clicked on ad/number of times the ad was delivered.


A term used by web-based companies offering users the ability to access files or services from devices that are connected to the internet (the opposite of storing files or programs on a hard or external drive).


An amount of income received by a publisher for some quantifiable action such as selling an advertiser’s product and/or service on the publisher’s website.

Companion ad

Both Linear and Non-linear Video ad products have the option of pairing their core video ad product with what is commonly referred to as companion ads. Commonly text, display ads, rich media, or skins that wrap around the video experience, can run alongside either or both the video or ad content. The primary purpose of the Companion Ad product is to offer sustained visibility of the sponsor throughout the video content experience. Companion Ads may offer click-through interactivity and rich media experiences such as expansion of the ad for further engagement opportunities.


A completion event occurs when a video ad plays through to the end.

Content management system (CMS)

Software tools or web services for creating and amending website content. Typically, CMS are browser-based web applications running on a server. All enable users to readily add new pages within an existing page template.

Content marketing

Content Marketing Any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.

Contextual advertising

Advertising that is targeted to the content on the webpage being viewed by a user at that specific time.


A trend in which different hardware devices such as televisions, computers and telephones merge and have similar functions.

Conversion rate

Measure of success of an online ad when compared to the click-through rate. What defines a ‘conversion’ depends on the marketing objective eg: it can be defined as a sale or request to receive more information.


A conversion occurs when the user performs the specific action that the advertiser has defined as the campaign goal. Conversions are often tracked by a web beacon, called a conversion pixel.


Information placed on a visitor’s computer or mobile by a web server that can be stored or retrieved when the site is accessed. Used to record a user’s unique behavior during each visit.

Cookie expiry period

The time stated in an affiliate marketing program between when a visitor clicks the affiliate link and the sale is credited to the affiliate. Common times are 7, 30 or 90 days. A longer cookie period will result in a higher EPC.

Cookie matching

A method of enabling data appending by linking one company’s user identifier to another company’s user identifier.

Cookie stuffing

With cookie stuffing, while publisher X sends visitors to Amazon, a separate publisher actually gets credit — and hence money — for the sale. They do this by dropping multiple cookies after someone views a page or clicks on a single link. The hope is that dropping multiple cookies increases the chance that the person will go on to visit and buy from one of the commerce sites in question.

Cost per download

Cost per Download – (CPD) the price an advertiser pays every time a desired download (such as a coupon download) occurs via an ad unit; rather than paying for all impressions, and advertiser only pays when the desired outcome occurs[CPD = Cost ÷ download]

Cost per engagement

Cost per Engagement – (CPE) the price an advertiser pays every time a consumer interacts with a rich media ad unit; rather than paying for all impressions, and advertiser only pays when the desired interaction occurs [CPE = Cost ÷ Engagement]

Cost per acquisition (CPA)

Refers to the overall costs associated with acquiring one user. This can be calculated by dividing total marketing costs by total number of new users.

Cost per action (CPA)

A pricing model that only charges advertising on an action being conducted eg. a sale or a form being filled in.

Cost per click (CPC)

The amount paid by an advertiser for a click on their sponsored search listing. See also PPC.

Cost per mille (CPM) / cost per thousand

Online advertising can be purchased on the basis of what it costs to show the ad to one thousand viewers (CPM). It is used in marketing as a benchmark to calculate the relative cost of an advertising campaign or an ad message in a given medium. Rather than an absolute cost, CPM estimates the cost per 1,000 views of the ad .

Cost-per-minute viewed

The cost of the ad divided by the number of minutes the ad is played for.

Cost per thousand impressions (CPM)

The revenue paid to the publisher by the advertiser for every thousand times the ad is shown.

Creative retargeting

A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors that previously were exposed to or interacted with the advertisers’ creative.

Creative Side Platform

A technology that can optimize creativity in real time. It can process information on  how a campaign’s creative executions can be optimized through “unlimited, simultaneous optimization experiments,”


Customer Relationship Management is the set of business practices that guide a company’s interactions with current and future customers in all areas, from sales, marketing, and loyalty programs, to customer service, and technical support.

Cross device targeting

The ability to serve sequential ad messages to the same consumer from one device to the next (e.g. first on a person’s desktop then again on his/her smartphone).

Cross device tracking

Cross-device tracking describes the myriad ways platforms, publishers and ad tech companies try to identify Internet users across smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. The goal of cross-device tracking is to be able to know that the person using smartphone X is the same person who uses tablet Y and laptop Z, and then allow brands to re-target that person accordingly.

Customer acquisition

Techniques used to gain new customers.

Customer retention

Techniques to maintain relationships with existing customers.


Direct to Consumer.

Dark traffic

For the most part, publishers and marketers can tell where their Web traffic is coming from, be it direct or through search engines or a social network like Facebook or Twitter. But then there’s all the under-the-radar sharing that takes place — on chat, messaging apps, IM and in email — outside the mainstays of the social network ecosystem. Then there are sites that are secure, which means that they don’t collect information on users. That’s the dark traffic part.

Data exchange

Online auction marketplace where advertisers acquire 3rd party data that helps them better reach their target audiences with display.
Data Exchanges were created as marketplaces where Online Data Providers could sell their data directly to DSPs and Ad Networks. Who Uses: Ad Networks, DSPs.

Data leakage

Data leakage typically occurs when a brand, agency or ad tech company collects data about a website’s audience and subsequently uses that data without the initial publisher’s permission.

Data management platform (DMP)

Platforms that allow advertisers, agencies, publishers and others to control their own first-party audience and campaign data, compare it to third-party audience data, and give the ability to make smarter media buying and campaign planning decisions via behavioral targeting or extending audiences via lookalike modeling. Advertisers and agencies generally utilize DMPs in order to buy more effectively while publishers typically utilize DMPs in order to segment their audiences and sell more effectively.

Deal ID

A number that is assigned to a programmatic ad transaction used by both the buyer and seller to transact on prearranged parameters; in invitation-only auctions (aka private marketplaces).

DEAL (or D.E.A.L)

Here D.E.A.L stands for detecting ad blocking, explaining the value exchange, asking for changed behavior and then lifting restrictions.

  • Detect ad blocking, in order to initiate a conversation
  • Explain the value exchange that advertising enables
  • Ask for changed behavior in order to maintain an equitable exchange
  • Lift restrictions or Limit access in response to consumer choice

Deep linking

Deep linking is simply a way for app developers to link to specific pages within apps. With deep linking, developers can link one app to another, sending users to profile pages, product listings or specific deals. In other words, deep linking helps apps move away from being silos and become more seamless and connected. This behavior is table stakes with the desktop Web, but it doesn’t exist as fully with mobile.

Demand side platform (DSP)

An advertising technology platform which allows marketers to manage their online media campaigns by facilitating the buying of auction-based display media and audience data across multiple inventory and data suppliers in a centralized management platform. Who Uses: Agencies, Marketers, etc.

Device ID

A device ID (device identification) is a distinctive number associated with a smartphone or similar handheld device. Device IDs are separate from hardware serial numbers.

Digital place-based (DPB)

Screens with digital content placed in malls, offices, taxis, airports and other locations outside of the home

Digital signage

Display of text and/or images, shown in digital formats over the internet or on television. Digital signage is commonly used to advertise products or services as they can offer more animations to entice consumers. Digital signage use technologies such as LCD, LED and Projection to display content such as digital images, video, streaming media, and information.

Direct response

Direct Response – (DR) an ad that is designed to have the viewer take immediate action; for example, in digital advertising, this often means a click, sign up, download, or purchase.


The difference in campaign reporting numbers for key measurements such as impressions and clicks between multiple ad servers.

Display advertising

A form of online advertising where an advertiser’s message is shown on a destination web page, generally set off in a box at the top or bottom or to one side of the content of the page.

Domain name

The unique name of an internet site e.g.

Double opt in

See Confirmed Opt-in

Double opt in

Requesting the subscriber to opt-in twice, prior to engaging with the subscriber.


Digital Rights Management is a set of technologies used by publishers and media owners to control access to their digital content. Access can be limited to the number of times a piece of content is accessed from a single machine or user account; the number of times access permissions can be passed on; or the lifespan of a piece of content.

Dynamic Ad Insertion

Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) is a new way new to help TV networks to monetize their programming and allows them to change out ads that would otherwise be baked into shows. Dynamic ad insertion also promises to help networks make more money on video-on-demand programming, since time-sensitive ads can be swapped out of content a few days after it airs.

Dynamic creative optimization (DCO)

Dynamic Creative Optimization is the process in which the right banner is automatically generated in real time – with layout, products and messaging – based on a user’s shopping intent that is determined by our data mining engine.

E-commerce (electronic commerce)

Business that takes place over electronic platforms, such as the internet.

Email advertising

Banner ads, links or advertiser sponsorship that appear in e-mail newsletters, e-mail marketing campaigns and other commercial e-mail communications. Includes all types of electronic mail (e.g., basic text or HTML-enabled).

Email bounced

Those emails sent as part of a mailing distribution which did not have a valid recipient email address and so generated a formal failure message.

Effective CPM (eCPM)

Effective CPM – the average CPM of a campaign [eCPM = Total Cost ÷ Total Imps x 1000];

Embedded format

Advertising formats that are displayed in set spaces on a publisher’s page. See also banners, skyscrapers, button.

Expandable banner/skyscraper

Fixed online advertising placements that expand over the page in the response to user action eg: mouse over. See also Rich Media.


Frequently asked questions.

Filter bubble

The filter bubble is created when a large group of people get most of their information from personalized new delivery platforms such as Google News, Facebook’s news feed and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. People who rely on these platforms for their media consumption are at risk of only being served stories that pander to, and thus reaffirm, their pre-existing worldviews.


Provides security for a computer or local network by preventing unauthorized access. It sits as a barrier between the web and your computer in order to prevent hacking, viruses or unapproved data transfer.

Fixed mobile convergence (FMC)

A mobile device that supports both carrier network and WIFI and can switch between each seamlessly.


Web design software that creates animation and interactive elements which are quick to download.

Floating ads

An ad or ads that appear within the main browser window on top of the Web page’s normal content, thereby appearing to “float” over the top of the page.

FMOT First Moment of Truth

This is when consumers are standing in front of the product, actually looking at it. I suggest you pay close attention to Zero Moment of Truth: when customers are doing their research.


A structure that allows for the dividing of a webpage into two or more independent parts.


It’s a form of piracy. Freebooting is whenever a Facebook user uploads a video they don’t have the rights to. It is different from, say, posting a link to a YouTube video to your wall.

Freemium model

A type of business model that works by selling basic services, or a basic downloadable digital product, for free, while charging a premium price for advanced or special features.

Frequency cap

Restriction on the amount of times a specific visitor is shown a particular advertisement.

FTP (File transfer protocol)

Internet protocol which facilitates downloading or uploading digital files.

Generation X

People born between 1965–1976. Here below their main characteristics:

  • Technologically savvy
  • Like informality
  • Learn quickly
  • Seek work-life balance
  • Embrace diversity

Generation Y (Millennials)

People born between 1977–1994. Here below their main characteristics:

  • Technologically savvy
  • Like informality
  • Embrace diversity
  • Learn quickly
  • Need supervision

Generation Z

People born between 1995–2012. This highly diverse environment will make the grade schools of the next generation the most diverse ever. Higher levels of technology will make significant inroads in academics allowing for customized instruction, data mining of student histories to enable pinpoint diagnostics and remediation or accelerated achievement opportunities.
Gen Z kids will grow up with a highly sophisticated media and computer environment and will be more Internet savvy and expert than their Gen Y forerunners. More to come on Gen Z.

Geo targeting

The process of only showing adverts to people on a website and in search engines based on their physical location. This could be done using advanced technology that knows where a computer is located or by using the content of website to determine what a person is looking for, e.g. someone searching for a restaurant in Islington, London.


A standard web graphic format which uses compression to store and display images.

Global positioning system (GPS)

System of satellites, computers and receivers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a given receiver located on Earth. Determined by the time it takes signals from different satellites to reach the receiver.


General Packet Radio Service or ‘2.5G’ is an underlying mechanism for mobile networks to deliver Internet browsing, WAP, email and other such content. The user is ‘always connected’ and relatively high data rates can be achieved with most modern phones compared to a dial-up modem. Most phones default to using GPRS (if capable).

Gross Rating Point (GRP)

Gross rating point (GRP) is a term used in traditional advertising to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media vehicle or schedule. It is the product of the percentage of the target audience reached by an advertisement, times the frequency they see it in a given campaign (frequency × % reached). For example, a television advertisement that is aired 5 times reaching 50% of the target audience each time it is aired would have a GRP of 250 (5 × 50%).

GRP values are commonly used by media buyers to compare the advertising strength of various media vehicles.


Global Standard for Mobiles. The set of standards covering one particular type of mobile phone system.


Guaranteed is referred to the quantifiable media buy during specific period of time for one campaign. This type of campaign has preagreed budget and volumes.

Hard bounces

Email non-delivery notifications that are generated as a result of messages being sent to invalid, closed or nonexistent email accounts.

Header bidding

Header bidding, also known as advance bidding or pre-bidding, is an advanced programmatic technique wherein publishers offer inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to their ad servers (mostly DoubleClick for Publishers). The idea is that by letting multiple demand sources bid on the same inventory at the same time, publishers increase their yield and make more money.

Holding company

Four major international groups, Dentsu Aegis, Omnicom, Interpublic, WPP and Publicis Groupe, that each control a large number of different operating agencies across the globe.


Any computer on a network that offers services or connectivity to other computers on the network. A host has an IP address associated with it.

House ad

Ads for a product or service from the same company. “Revenues” from house ads should not be included in reported revenues.


HyperText Markup Language, the set of commands used by web browsers to interpret and display page content to users.


A new standard for displaying content on the web through browsers. HTML5 is the new rendition in work of HTML (hypertext markup language) that will be competing directly with Flash and includes features like video playback and drag-and-drop functionality.


IAB is a trade association devoted exclusively to maximizing the use and effectiveness of interactive advertising and marketing.

Identity graph

Identity Graphs refer to the means by which a platform recognizes a user across devices and channels in order to serve the same person consistent marketing irrespective of device and channel, allowing for measurement and attribution online and offline (which is not possible with cookies alone).

IDFA (Identifier for Advertising/Advertiser)

Identifier for Advertisers (IFA or IDFA) is a temporary device identifier used by the Apple set of handheld devices. It provides device identification while giving end users the ability to limit the device/consumer information accessed by advertisers or apps. IFA is available on all devices with versions iOS 6 and later.


Short for “inline frame,” this is the area on a website designated for an ad to appear.

Image ad

An image on a mobile internet site with an active link that can be clicked on by the wireless subscriber.


Business metric for counting the number of times the web users have viewed the advertising spaces in the website page. Many websites sell advertising space by the number of impressions displayed to users.

In banner video ads

Leverage the banner space to deliver a video experience as opposed to another static or rich media format. The format relies on the existence of display ad inventory on the page for its delivery.

In page video ads

Delivered most often as a standalone video ad and do not generally have other content associated with them. This format is typically home page or channel based and depends on real estate within the page dedicated for the video player.

In stream video ads

Played before, during or after the streaming video content that the consumer has requested. These ads cannot typically be stopped from being played (particularly with pre-roll). This format is frequently used to monetize the video content that the publisher is delivering. In-Stream ads can be played inside short or long form video and rely on video content for their delivery. There are four different types of video content where in-stream may play, UGC (User Generated Content/Video), Syndicated, Sourced and Journalistic.

In text video ads

Delivered from highlighted words and phrases within the text of web content. The ads are user activated and delivered only when a user chooses to move their mouse over a relevant word or phrase.

Insertion order

Purchase order between a seller of interactive advertising and a buyer (usually an advertiser or its agency).

In stream

When a video ad “streams” (plays) alongside (before/mid/after) video content.

Interactive In-App Pre-Roll
Video ads containing rich media or interactive functionality running in-app on smartphones or tablets. Interstitial ads playing in-app expand to full screen unless viewer exits.

Interactive Pre-Roll
In-stream video ads that play before video content and feature interactive and rich media elements, such as overlays, video galleries, microsites, zip code locators, etc.

Internet of things

Put simply, it’s when “things” get online, creating a seamless connection between, for example, your car, your refrigerator, your phones and the Web. The term was coined by British technologist Kevin Ashton in 1999 when he was at MIT. Your objects will become more-intelligent, somewhat-sentient beings that will be able to, with the help of the Internet, do your work for you.

Internet protocol TV (IPTV)

The use of a broadband connection to stream digital television over the internet to subscribed users.

Internal service provider (ISP)

A company which provides users with the means to connect to the internet.

Interstitial ads

Appear between two content pages. Also known as splash pages and transition ads.

IP address

The numerical internet address assigned to each computer on a network so that it can be distinguished from other computers. Expressed as four groups of numbers separated by dots.

IP address permanence

An IP address is a unique number assigned to each device connected to the Internet. An IP address can be dynamic, meaning it changes each time an email message or campaign goes out, or it can be static, meaning it does not change.

The number of available ad impressions.


A programming language designed for building applications on the Internet. It allows for advanced features, increased animation detail and real-time updates. Small applications called Java applets can be downloaded from a server and executed by Java-compatible browsers like Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator.


Standard web graphic file format that uses a compression technique to reduce graphic file sizes.

Jump/landing page

The page or view to which a user is directed when they click on an active link embedded in a banner, etc. Provided additional information and/or a mechanism to make a purchase.


A name or word used to distinguish a key message within a Short Code Service.

Keyword targeting

Targeting content that contains specific keywords.


Key Performance Indicators, also known as KPI or Key Success Indicators (KSI), help an organization define and measure progress toward organizational goals.

LACEL (Lens Academy corporate e-learning)

Software powered by Lens Academy. Is the corporate e-learning solution to gather the best practices and knowhow of the company and allows to merge with the Lens Academy learning program.

LAN (Local area network)

A group of computers connected together which are at one physical location.

Landing page (jump page)

The page or view to which a user is directed when they click on an active link embedded in a banner, web page, email or other view. A click through lands the user on a jump page. Sometimes the landing page is one stage upstream from what would ordinarily be considered the homepage.

LAPE (Lens Academy learning enabled program)

Lens Academy Programmatic Enabled Program qualify your company as Programmatic Enabler. The LAPE brand gives your company international recognition as a Lens Academy certified partner.

Large rectangle

An IMU size. The IAB’s voluntary guidelines include seven Interactive Marketing Unit (IMU) ad formats; two vertical units and five large rectangular units. For more information, see the IAB’s Ad Unit Guidelines.

Latency time

The time delay while advertising loads on a page. In streaming media, latency can create stream degradation if it causes the packets, which must be received and played in order, to arrive out of order.


When a visitor registers, signs up for, or downloads something on an advertiser’s site. A lead might also comprise a visitor filling out a form on an advertiser’s site.

Lead generation

Fees advertisers pay to Internet advertising companies that refer qualified purchase inquiries (e.g., auto dealers which pay a fee in exchange for receiving a qualified purchase inquiry online) or provide consumer information (demographic, contact, and behavioral) where the consumer opts into being contacted by a marketer (email, postal, telephone, fax). These processes are priced on a performance basis (e.g., cost-per-action, -lead or -inquiry), and can include user applications (e.g., for a credit card), surveys, contests (e.g., sweepstakes) or registrations.

Lens Academy B.V.

Lens Academy is the industry agnostic learning hub with ELEARNING, WORKSHOPS and TECHNOLOGY SOLUTION for gaining and sharing knowledge. Lens Academy certifies individuals as the Programmatic Specialist and other industry professionals. It also helps companies to ease their learning processes.


The change in measured ad effectiveness (e.g., message recall) between respondents who did not view the ad and those who did.

Linear Television
The traditional broadcast system in which a viewer watches a scheduled TV program at the time it’s broadcasted, and on the channel it’s originally presented on.


A clickable connection between two Web sites. Formally referred to as a hyperlink.

Location base

A range of services that are provided to mobile subscribers based on the geographical location of their handsets, e.g. local deals and sat nav.

Log files

A record of all the hits a web server has received over a given period of time.

Long tail

Longtail – coined by Chris Anderson in an article in Wired Magazine, and in a book and his book The Long Tail; used to describe a portion of a statistical graph depicting the far end of a demand curve; applied in the digital media industry in different ways, but most commonly refers to a class of websites that each individually garner very little traffic (yet, when aggregated via networks and exchanges, offers tremendous scale)

Mailing list

An automatically distributed e-mail message on a particular topic going to certain individuals.

Managed tag

For buyers, a managed tag is basically one way to get an early look at publishers’ inventory at a fixed cost. By plugging a tag into a publisher’s ad server, a buyer is able to see and possibly bid on inventory before the ad call, after which that inventory is offered to other potential buyers, both direct and indirect. It’s basically calling dibs.

Marketing mix modeling

Marketing Mix Modeling – (MMM) Also sometimes called Mixed Media Modeling, a statistical analysis applied to a mixed media plan to forecast the impact of the plan (see also: Mixed Media)


MCNs collect and represent talent — folks with popular YouTube channels — and package them for advertisers in exchange for a slice of their income. Offerings differ across each MCN, but they tend to help creators build and share audiences, provide access to production resources and seek sponsors for branded content opportunitie

Media company

A company that derives revenue from publishing content via one or more means of distribution, e.g., print publishing, television, radio, the Internet

Message Recall

A measurement used to evaluate an ad’s effectiveness at driving a viewer’s ability to remember a brand or the message it intended to communicate. Typically measured using a control/exposed survey methodology.

Meta data

Data that provides information about other data. This includes descriptions of the characteristics of information, such as quality, origin, context, content and structure.

Meta tags/description

HTML tags that identify the content of a web page for search engines.

Master service agreement

Master Service Agreement – (MSA) a contracted document which outlines the agreed upon terms between a buyer and seller which is used as a baseline to govern future transactions


A linear video spot that appears in the middle of the video content. See preroll and post-roll.


See Generation Y

Missed call marketing

Consumers opt into ads by dialing a number and hanging up before the call connects. The customer will then receive text messages and calls with ads in them.


The Mobile Marketing Association – A global non-profit association that strives to stimulate the growth of mobile marketing and its associated technologies.

Mobile Advertising

A form of advertising that is communicated to the consumer/target via a handset. Most commonly seen as a Mobile Web Banner Ad (top of the page) Mobile Web Poster (bottom of the page banner), full screen interstitial (appears while requested page is loading), SMS and MMS Ads, Mobile Gaming Ad, and Mobile Video Ad.

Mobile/location-based targeting

Mobile/location-based targeting refers to a way to target advertisements on mobile devices such as smartphones or feature phones, GPS receivers, tablets (such as iPads) and soon on many mobile laptops. On phones and tablets, such advertisements can appear in a mobile Web browser or within an app. Geographic targeting information can come in the form of either a confirmed location or a derived location.

Mobile marketing

The use of wireless media as an integrated content delivery and direct response vehicle within a cross-media or stand-alone marketing communications program.

Mobile Pre-Roll

Video ads with standard functionality, such as click throughs, running on smartphone or tablet devices. Can be either in-stream (i.e. mobile browser) or in-app (e.g., Words with Friends). Interstitial ads playing in-app expand to full screen unless viewer exits.

Mobile web

A channel for delivery of web content, which offers and formats content to users in awareness of the mobile context.

Moments of Truth

Moments of Truth(MOT) in marketing, is the moment when a customer/user interacts with a brand, product or service to form or change an impression about that particular brand, product or service. Coined in 2005 by Procter & Gamble CEO.


File format used to compress and transmit video clips online.


Mobile Rich media Ad Interface Definition, a protocol used for ad servers, ad units, and mobile devices to communicate with each other in order to serve mobile ads with interactive capabilities

Multichannel Video Program Distributors (MVPDs)
A type of service provider that delivers TV programming services to the consumer, often charging a subscription fee.

Multiple purpose unit (MPU)

A square online advert usually found embedded in a web page in a fixed placement. Called ‘multiple purpose’ as it is a flexible shaped blank ‘canvas’ in which you can serve flat or more interactive content as desired.

Native advertising

Digital advertising that works as part of the main content flow of a media owner’s site and, typically, provides audiences with a ‘content experience’. Native ad formats include content curation units, discovery and recommendation units. Some people also describe content marketing such as sponsored or advertising features as native advertising.


A term that is used to describe the informal rules of conduct (“do’s and don’ts”) of online behavior.


The NewFronts are the digital media world’s answer to the upfronts, the presentations networks make to media buyers of their slate of new shows for the upcoming season.


Non-guaranteed referred when there’s NOT preagreed negotiation between media buyer and seller but everything is bought and sold in real time. You cannot quantify budgets and volumes in advance, but only when the campaign is over.

Nonlinear Television
A non-traditional means of viewing TV content that enables “time-shifting” (not watching during the scheduled broadcast) using streaming, DVR, video-on-demand, over-the-top (OTT) or mobile TV technology.

On demand

The ability to request video, audio, or information to be sent to the screen immediately by clicking something on the screen referring to that choice.

On demand audio

It refers to any digital audio downloaded by request and not listened to via a live stream. (A live stream refers to many people tuning in simultaneously and hearing the same thing.) The downloading can occur via any platform or file transfer protocol, including progressive downloads on a web page, downloads to an app, or plays in iTunes. On-demand audio includes full shows/podcasts, segments from shows/podcasts, and standalone audio stories or clips.

Online behavioral advertising

Online Behavioral Advertising – (OBA) a method for targeting digital advertising impressions to appear to an select audience of consumers based on their prior actions, those actions occurring either online or offline; also called Behavioral Targeting (BT)

Online data providers (data aggregator)

The definition of an “Online Data Provider” is broad and includes a number of players and data types, such as companies like Experian (Financial data), Nielsen (demographics and psychographic data) and OwnerIQ (purchase history). Who Uses: Advertisers and their agencies, Ad Networks, DSPs, Data Exchanges.

Online publisher

A creator and/or aggregator of online content, which often monetizes user visits by displaying advertisements.

Online video advertising

Video advertising accompanying video content distributed via the internet to be streamed or downloaded onto compatible devices such as computers and mobile phones. In its basic form, this can be TV ads run online, but adverts are increasingly adapted or created specifically to suit online. Video advertising can be placed before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll) and after (post-roll) video content.

Open auction

Open auction – a programmatic marketplace where Real Time Bidding (RTB) occurs, and any buyer can participate to buy impressions. Any buyer can access the inventory through its technology with no need of deal IDs.
The auctions take place in real time and the winner is the buyer who bids more according to the logic of the second highest bid + 1 US cent.

Open rate

The number of HTML message recipients who opened your email, usually as a percentage of the total number of emails sent.

Opt in

The process where a subscriber provides explicit consent, after receiving notice form the mobile marketer.

Opt out

The process where a subscriber revokes consent, after receiving notice from the mobile marketer.


Process of refining an advertising campaign so that it will perform more favorably for the advertiser, and extend reach, boost click-through and conversions etc.

Organic search results

The ‘natural’ search results that appear in a separate section (usually the main body of the page) to the paid listings. The results listed here have not been paid for and are ranked by the search engine (using spiders or algorithms) according to relevancy to the term searched upon.

Over The Top content (OTT)

Access to premium content through any device that connects to the Internet, often marketed as TV Anywhere/TV Everywhere; offers subscribers the ability to watch programming on any device they own. The delivery of TV content via Web 2.0. Users are not required to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite providers to watch TV content. Typically video is delivered in a streaming or video-on-demand (VOD) format.

Outbound links

A link to a site outside the current site.

Out of Home – (OOH)

Advertising placements that appear in public places; for example: billboards, airports, grocery stores, taxi cabs, bus stations, etc.


Online advertising content that ‘floats’ above other content or appears over the top of the webpage.


The rate at which a digital ad campaign uses up its pre-set number of impressions (for a fixed/reserved campaign) or budget (for an auction-based/unreserved campaign); campaigns can pace evenly or unevenly

Page view

Unit of measure that tracks the number of times a user loads a particular web page.

Paid for listing

The search results list in which advertisers pay to be featured according to the PPC model. This list usually appears in a separate section to the organic search results- usually at the top of the page on the right hand side.

Pass back

An impression offered to a media buyer with the right of first refusal, such that when this right is exercised the impression is offered to another media buyer.

Pay per click (PPC)

An advertising pricing model in which advertisers pay agencies and/or media companies based on how many users clicked on an online ad or e-mail message.

Pay for performance program

Also called Affiliate Marketing, Performance-based, Partner Marketing, CPA, or Associate Program. Any type of revenue sharing program where a publisher receives a commission for generating online activity (e.g. leads or sales) for an advertiser.

Paid per lead

The commission structure where the advertiser pays the publisher a flat fee for each qualified lead (customer) that is referred to the advertiser’s website.

Pay per sale

The commission structure where the advertiser pays a percentage or flat fee to the publisher based on the revenue generated by the sale of a product or service to a visitor who came from a publisher site.

Pay per view (PPV)

An eCommerce model that allows media owners to grant consumers access to their programming in return for payment. Micro payments may be used for shorter programming whist feature films may attract larger sums.

Payment threshold

The minimum accumulated commission an affiliate must earn to trigger payment from an affiliate program.

Performance metrics

Performance metrics – the measurement of digital ad campaigns with action-based goals such as click-throughs, leads, downloads, sales, etc.

Persistent cookie

Cookies that remain a client hard drive until they expire (as determined by the website that set them) or are deleted by the end user.


An illegal method of redirecting traffic from another company’s website (such as a bank) to a fake one designed to look similar in order to steal user details when they try to log in.


An illegal method whereby legitimate looking e-mails (appearing to come from a well-known bank, for example) are used in an attempt to source personal information that can be used to steal a user’s identity.

Piggyback pixel

An image tag or code that redirects a user browser to another pixel not directly placed on the publisher page.


See beacon.


The type of computer or operating system on which a software application runs, e.g., Windows, Macintosh or Unix.

Plug in

A program application that can easily be installed and used as part of a Web browser. Once installed, plug-in applications are recognized by the browser and their function integrated into the main HTML file being presented.


“Podcast” is a slippery label, once defined by its technical delivery platform but increasingly used to describe an entire class of audio content. Podcasts are a subset of on-demand audio. They consist of recurring shows or audio content collections. Measurement of downloads should include any form of on-demand, digital listening to that podcast, regardless of platform and inclusive of full episode downloads and downloads of segments of an episode. Often this is limited to audio files downloaded because they were enclosures in an RSS feed but may also include things like download links on a Web page or plays of an episode via a Web-based player.

Basic measurement of shows/podcasts includes all downloads, but some organizations might also need to generate a separate measure for sponsorship purposes that includes a subset of all downloads.

Point of Purchase – (POP)

The moment when a consumer is about to buy something; often times advertisers will place an ad or a special offer to increase the pending purchase.

Pop under

An ad that appears in a separate window beneath an open window. Pop-under ads are concealed until the top window is closed, moved, resized or minimized.

Pop up

An online advert that ‘pops up’ in a window over the top of a web page.

Post roll

The screening of a mobile advertising clip after a mobile TV/Video clip.

Pre roll

The screening of a mobile advertising clip before a mobile TV/Video clip.

Preferred deal

The preferred deal is NOT programmatic direct (or premium).

  • Negotiation: one to one, non guaranteed volumes.
  • Price: CPM, fixed.
  • Budget and volumes are not pre-agreed.
  • Workflow: automated, only via token (or deal ID)
  • Logic: reservation non guaranteed.

Once the campaign is over, is possible to determine budget and volumes purchased.

The technologies involved:

  • Buyer: Demand Side Platform (DSP) via deal ID
  • Seller: Sell Side Platform (SSP)

Price floors

The minimum bid required for an ad impression in an auction-based media market.

Private auction

See Private market place (PMP).

Private marketplace (PMP) or Private auction

A programmatic marketplace where Real Time Bidding (RTB) occurs, yet only select buyers are allowed to bid on a specific vendor’s inventory (or package). Buyers can access to that particular package only via token or deal id.

  • Negotiation: one to few, not guaranteed volumes.
  • Prices: dynamics, determined by every single buyer’s bid.
  • Logic: automated, auction.

The technologies involved:

  • Buyer: Demand Side Platform (DSP) via deal ID
  • Seller: Sell Side Platform (SSP)


Real time, technology driven activity that enables targeting to specific users instead of buying set inventory. Is the automation of buying and selling media online (and off).

Programmatic direct

Programmatic direct is a way to automate direct ad buys for set campaigns. You could say programmatic direct encompasses both guaranteed and non-guaranteed contracts.

Programmatic guaranteed (or premium)

The dynamics are very similar to the traditional buying, where the budget and the volume are pre-agreed and the negotiation is one to one.
However, the technologies involved for the delivery, are different.

  • Buyer: Demand Side Platform (DSP)
  • Seller: Sell Side Platform (SSP)

The workflow is not manual but automated.

Programmatic specialist

The Programmatic Specialist is the expert on the buying and the selling side of  programmatic industry.

Programmatic TV

Programmatic TV is the automation of audience-based TV advertising through a software platform. Programmatic TV advertising is the data-driven automation of audience-based advertising transactions. It inverts the industry standard, in which marketers rely on show ratings to determine desirable audiences for their ads. Instead, with programmatic tech, marketers use audience data to pipe advertising to optimal places.


A uniform set of rules that enable two devices to connect and transmit data to one another. Protocols determine how data are transmitted between computing devices and over networks. They define issues such as error control and data compression methods. The protocol determines the following: type of error checking to be used, data compression method (if any), how the sending device will indicate that it has finished a message and how the receiving device will indicate that it has received the message. Internet protocols include TCP/IP (Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), and SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol).

Proxy servers

Intermediaries between end users and Web sites such as ISPs, commercial online services, and corporate networks. Proxy servers hold the most commonly and recently used content from the Web for users in order to provide quicker access and to increase server security.


A web property providing content for consumers using the internet.  Business models range from subscription services to advertising monetization. Publishers that choose to monetize their site with advertising have a choice to sell their inventory through direct, remnant or automated RTB channels. Who uses:  Publishers, Advertisers via direct channels, Agencies via direct channels, Advertisers, Agencies, DSPs, Ad Networks via remnant and automated channels.

Publisher ad tag

Code that is placed on a publisher’s web page that calls an ad server for the purposes of displaying an advertisement.

Publisher pixel

An object embedded in a web page (typically a 1×1 image pixel) that calls a web server for purposes of tracking some kind of user activity.

Pull messaging

Any content sent to the wireless subscriber upon request.

Push messaging

Any content sent by or on behalf of the advertisers to a wireless mobile device at a time other than when a subscriber requests it.

Quarterly Business Review (QBR)

In a QBR, a company uses its past to guide future planning


A request for information, usually to a search engine.

Rate card

The list of advertising prices and products and packages offered by a media company.


1) unique users that visited the site over the course of the reporting period, expressed as a percent of the universe for the demographic category; also called un-duplicated audience; 2) the total number of unique users who will be served a given ad.

Real time

Information delivered with no delay in the processing of requests, other than the time necessary for the data to travel over the Internet.

Real time bidding (RTB)

RTB is a protocol that enables the valuation and bidding on individual impressions in real time. The buying takes place over online media exchanges – basically media marketplaces – which connect sellers (publishers) and buyers (advertisers).

Really simple syndication (RSS)

The model for content discovery and purchase that is provided by operators on-deck.


The number or percentage of consumers that took advantage of a particular offer.


When used in reference to online advertising, one server assigning an ad-serving function to another server, often operated by a third company operating on behalf of an agency. For instance, a Web publisher’s ad management server might issue a redirect to the browser or client which points to an Agency Ad Server (AAS) hired by an advertiser to distribute its ads to a target audience across a broad list of sites. There is no limit to the number of redirects that can come into play before the delivery of an actual ad. The agency ad server in turn may redirect the browser to a Rich Media Vendor (RMV) or Digital Video ad server.
Re-directs produce latency! This is especially true when they are client side redirects which is the case in most online advertising today. Server side redirects limit latency but also limit the ability to persist the user’s identity when those redirects cross domains.

Referral fees

Fees paid by advertisers for delivering a qualified sales lead or purchase inquiry.

Referral link

The referring page, or referral link is a place from which the user clicked to get to the current page. In other words, since a hyperlink connects one URL to another, in clicking on a link the browser moves from the referring URL to the destination URL. Also known as source of a visit.

Referral URL

The address of the webpage that a user previously visited prior to following a link.


The likelihood that a given web page will be of interest or useful to a search engine user for a keyword search.


(or re-targeting) – The use of a pixel tag or other code to enable a third-party to recognize particular users outside of the domain from which the activity was collected. See Creative Retargeting, Site Retargeting.

Return on Ad spend – (ROAS)

Is a metric used by advertisers to measure how much revenue they earned that can be attributed to the expense of an ad campaign.

Return visit

The average number of times a user returns to a site over a specific time period.

Rich media

The collective name for online advertising formats that use advanced technology to harnesses broadband to build brands. Rich media uses interactive and audio-visual elements to give richer content and a richer experience for the user when interacting with the advert. Advertisements with which users can interact (as opposed to solely animation) in a web page format.

Revenue management (Yield management)

Yield and Revenue Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing advertiser and consumer behavior in order to maximize profits through better selling, pricing, packaging and inventory management, while delivering value to advertisers and site users.

ROI (Return on investment)

Net profit divided by investment.

Research online, purchase offline (ROPO) also research online, buy offline (ROBO) or Online-to-Store (O2S-Factor), is a new trend in buying behaviour where customers research relevant product information to qualify their buying decision, before they actually decide to buy their favourite product in the local store.

Run of network (RON)

An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages on sites within an ad network.

Run of site (ROS)

An ad buying option in which ad placements may appear on any pages of the target site.


See Real Time Bidding.

Sales house

An organization which sells in exclusive way advertising on behalf of other media owners. Sales houses typically retain a percentage of the revenue they sell in exchange for their services. These organizations may combine a number of websites together and sell them as different packages to advertisers.


Files that initiate routines like generating Web pages dynamically in response to user input.


The method by which a consumer finds content of interest. Online or offline.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

Form of marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

The process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a mobile web site from search engines via natural search results for targeted keywords.

Search engine results page (SERP)

A page of search results delivered by a search engine.

Second Moment of Truth (SMOT)

When a customer purchases a product and experiences its quality as per the promise of the brand.

Sell side platform

A sell side platform (SSP), also called sell side optimizer, inventory aggregator, and yield optimizer is a technology platform that provides outsourced media selling and ad network management services for publishers. A sell side platform business model resembles that of an ad network in that it aggregates ad impression inventory. However, a sell side platform serves publishers exclusively, and does not provide services for advertisers.

The inventory managed by the SSP is usually purchased by aggregate buyers, either demand side platforms (DSPs) or ad networks.

Semantic targeting

A type of contextual targeting that also incorporates semantic techniques to understand page meaning and/or sentiment.


A host computer which maintains websites, newsgroups and email services.

Server centric measurement

Audience measurement derived from server logs.

Server-side ad insertion (SSAI)

Also known as ad stitching, is emerging as a key method for video publishers to mitigate ad blocking and boost video playback across devices.


The time spent between a user starting an application, computer or website and logging off or quitting.

Session cookies

These are temporary and are erased when the browser exits at the end of a web surfing session.ù

Set-Top Box (STB)
A hardware device that allows a digital signal from a broadcaster to be received, decoded and displayed on a television. It also transmits important user data back to the broadcaster.

Share of voice (SOV)

Share of Voice – (SOV) the percentage of ad space on a page that is filled by a single brand; for example, if only one brand has ads appearing on a webpage, then that brand has 100% SO.

Silents generation

People born between 1925–1945. here below their main characteristics:

  • Plan to stay with the organization over the long term
  • Respectful of organizational hierarchy
  • Like structure
  • Accepting of authority figures in the workplace
  • Give maximum effort


Watching an existing TV service over the internet at the same time as normal transmission.

Site analytic

The reporting and analysis of website activity – in particular user behaviour on the site. All websites have a weblog which can be used for this purpose, but other third party software is available for a more sophisticated service.

Site tagging

The process of inserting advertisement tags into a mobile web site that allows a mobile campaign management platform to deliver advertisements to the site.

Site/Page/Position transparency

Ability for the buyer of media (typically an advertisement) to understand the location and context within which the media will be displayed. Transparency can be at the level of web property (site), page content (page) or position (specific location within page). Site transparency, in the context of a network or an exchange, refers to the ability of a buyer of inventory to know the exact identity of the website domain or page on which they have shown advertisements.


Customized and interchangeable sets of graphics, which allow Internet users to continually change the look of their desktops or browsers, without changing their settings or functionality. Skins are a type of marketing tool.

Skippable Pre-roll

In-stream video ads that allow viewers to skip ahead to their video content after playing for a few seconds.


A long, vertical, online advert usually found running down the side of a page in a fixed placement.


A handheld device that integrates mobile phone capabilities with more common features of a handheld computer or PDA.

Sniffer software

Identifies the capabilities of the user’s browser and therefore can determine compatibility with ad formats and serve them an advert they will be able to see/fully interact with (eg: GIF, Flash etc).

Social network

An online destination that gives users a chance to connect with one or more groups of friends, facilitating sharing of content, news, and information among them. Examples of social networks include Facebook and LinkedIn.

Software developers kit (SDK)

Usually platforms provide developers with a set of development toolkits that enable creation of software packages, frameworks, apps etc. There is usually an SDK for each language that works on the platform that interfaces between the system to the programming language.


Unsolicited junk mail.


Also known as a bot, robot or crawler. Programs used by a search engine to discover, download and index mobile web content.

Splash page

A preliminary page that precedes the user-requested page of a Web site that usually promotes a particular site feature or provides advertising. A splash page is timed to move on to the requested page after a short period of time or a click. Also known as an interstitial. Splash pages are not considered qualified page impressions under current industry guidelines, but they are considered qualified ad impressions.


Advertiser sponsorship of targeted content areas (e.g. entire website, site area or an event) for promotional purposes.

Sponsored content

Sponsored content is paid text, video, or images created to promote a brand or product that is presented alongside similar media that isn’t promotional. For example, a blog entry that discusses the benefits of a specific product that was paid for by product advertiser is sponsored content.

SSAI (Server-Side Ad Insertion)

It is the natural evolution from traditional client-side ad insertion processes that, through the multiplicity of devices and languages, have become a headache to manage and are prone to ad blocking. SSAI, sometimes referred to as ‘ad stitching’, allows publishers to knit their advertising and video content together into one seamless stream – at the CMS level, rather than at the client level.

SSP (Sell side platform)

See sell side platform.

Standard Pre-Roll

In-stream video ads that play before video content.


Measure used to gauge the effectiveness of a site in retaining its users. Usually measured by the duration of the visit.

Streaming media

Compressed audio/video which plays and downloads at the same time. The user does not have to wait for the whole file to download before it starts playing.


A form of rich media advertising which allows a TV-like experience on the web. It is fully pre-cached before playing. See also Rich Media, Cache.


Tags – Software code that an advertiser provides to a publisher or ad network that calls the advertiser’s ad server for the purposes of displaying an advertisement.

Target audience

The intended audience for an ad, usually defined in terms of specific demographics (age, sex, income, etc.) product purchase behavior, product usage or media usage.


Various criteria to make the delivery of a mobile advertisement more precise (age, gender, income, geographical location, etc.)


The ‘renting’ out of a section of a website by another brand who pays commission to this media owner for any revenue generated from this space.

Terms & Conditions

The details of the contract accompanying an insertion order.

Text ad

A static appended text attached to an advertisement.

Text link

Creative use for mobile advertisements, represented by highlighted and clickable text with a link embedded within the highlighted text.

Third moment of truth (TMOT)

Consumers feedback or reaction towards a brand, product or service i.e. consumer becomes brand advocate and gives back via word of mouth or social media publishing.

Third party ad serving

The technology used to deliver creative assets from one ad server into another, allowing advertisers to track the performance of the campaigns and recording impressions and clicks among other campaign metrics.

Time based metrics

In general terms, time-based measurement just means measuring the time a user spends with digital content. A new report by Digital Content Next (formerly known as the Online Publishers Association) shows that the stat that publishers most frequently share with advertisers is average time spent per visit.

Time spent

The amount of elapsed time from the initiation of a visit to the last audience activity associated with that visit. Time spent should represent the activity of a single cookie browser or user for a single access session to the web-site or property. Most publishers consider a session continuous if and only if not broken by more than 30 minutes of inactivity.


Tracer or tag which is attached by the receiving server to the address (URL) of a page requested by a user. A token lasts only through a continuous series of requests by a user, regardless of the length of the interval between requests. Tokens can be used to count unique users.


The ability to assess the performance of a mobile campaign.

Trading desk

An agency branch trading entity known as the expert operators in their use of new technology. These entities can be independent or operate within an agency holding company.  This group of people (known as traders) play the day-to-day campaign management role. Who uses:  Agency holding companies, operating agencies, advertisers.

Traditional buying

The traditional campaign is:

  • Guaranteed inventory
  • Participation is one to one,
  • Price the budget are fixed V
  • Volumes of inventory to buy are pre-agreed.

The technologies involved:

  • Buyer: delivery system (or ad server for advertiser)
  • Seller: ad server (for publishers)

The workflow is manual.


Number of visitors who come to a website.

Television (Linear)
The traditional broadcast system in which a viewer watches a scheduled TV program at the time it’s broadcasted, and on the channel it’s originally presented on.
Television (Nonlinear)
A non-traditional means of viewing TV content that enables “time-shifting” (not watching during the scheduled broadcast) using streaming, DVR, video-on-demand, over-the-top (OTT) or mobile TV technology.

Uniform resource locator (URL)

Technical term that is used to refer to the web address of a particular website.

Unique device identifier

Serial numbers associated to each mobile device or to one of its components.

Unique users

A specific mobile subscriber. Every mobile subscriber has some sort of alpha and/or numeric code that is sent with each advertisement request. These ‘unique identifiers’ are used to determine how many unique visitors view each ad.

User ad request

Specific to Mobile Advertising: a user ad request is the result of an active or passive act on the part of the user of a mobile marketing channel. The user may explicitly call for the ad to be delivered, or a request to the ad delivery system is triggered based on other user’s actions.

User generated content (UGC)

Online content created by website users rather than media owners or publishers – either through reviews, blogging, podcasting or posting comments, pictures or video clips. Sites that encourage user generated content include YouTube, Wikipedia and Flickr.

User ID

User identification (user ID) is a logical entity used to identify a user on a software, system, website or within any generic IT environment. It is used within any IT enabled system to identify and distinguish between the users who access or use it. A user ID may also be termed as username or user identifier.

VAST (Digital video ad serving template)

The digital video ad serving template (VAST) provides a standardized method for communicating the status of a video ad back to the ad servers in the case where the ad is served from a dynamically selected ad server. It is specifically designed for on-demand video player where the ad response is parsed prior to play.

VAST is applicable to Linear Video Ads (such as “pre-rolls”), Non-linear Video Ads (such as “overlays”) and Companion ads as defined in the IAB Digital Video Ad Format Guidelines.

VAST 1.0

The initial version of VAST was released in September 2008.

VAST 2.0

Released in November 2009, this formalized support for multiple creatives, linear and non-linear ads, and companion ads.

VAST 3.0

The upcoming version of VAST aims to include extensive industry feedback.

Verification service

Verification services – independent companies that offer advertisers the ability to ensure that their ads are appearing in the correct environment; commonly used to protect advertisers from their ads appearing in content environments that are undesirable for brands (so, avoiding salacious/adult content)

Video Ad

A video ad is an advertisement that contains video. There are several different types of video ads:

  • In-Banner Video Ads
  • In-Page Video Ads
  • In-Stream Video Ads
  • Non-linear Video Ads

Video on demand (VOD)

Allows users to watch what they want, when they want. This can be either ‘pay per view’ or a free service usually funded by advertising.

Video player

A video player is a computer program that translates data into video for viewing.

View through

View-through – when a consumer sees a brand’s ad, does not click on it, and then later visits that brand’s website


Viewability – a term used to describe whether or not a digital media ever appeared in the space within a webpage that was in view to the viewer – for example, when a viewer opens his browser and goes to a website, most often the webpage is longer than the browser window, so the viewer must scroll to continue reading down the page; if an ad never scrolls into that viewable space it is not considered viewable; the standard threshold for viewability is 50% of the pixels in view for 1 second for display, and 50% of the pixels in view for 2 seconds for video.

Viewable Completion

A viewable completion event occurs when a video is viewable (see: “viewable impression”) at the end of ad play.

Viewable Impressions

Number of measurable pre-roll video impressions that were viewable for any two consecutive seconds in the viewable browser area (at least 50% of the player is in view) of an active tab.

Viewability Rate

Percentage of measurable impressions that were viewable.

Viewable CPM (VCPM)

A pricing model that accounts for the cost of media and the viewability rate of that media. To calculate VCPM, divide the eCPM by the viewability rating.


A single continuous set of activity attributable to a cookie browser or user (if registration-based or a panel participant) resulting in one or more pulled texts and/or graphics downloads from a site.

Visit duration

The length of time the visitor is exposed to a specific ad, Web page or Web site during a single session.


Individual or browser which accesses a Web site within a specific time period.

VPAID – (Video Player Ad Interface Definition)

Is a protocol used for ad servers, ad units, and publishers to communicate with each other in order to serve video ads with interactive capabilities on desktop

Voice over internet protocol (VOIP)

Technology that allows the use of a broadband Internet connection to make telephone calls.

WAP (wireless application protocol)

Mark-up language developed specifically for wireless applications to enable optimum usage of the limited display capabilities of a handset.

WAP 2.0

An increasingly popular format of choice for mobile web. Relies on a new set of standards that are more in line with Internet standards. Using xHTML, mobile carriers, content providers and media companies can present content and functionality in more robust formats via faster wireless technologies.


Waterfalling is a technique publishers use to maximize both the pricing and sell-through rate of their inventory. It’s also often called “daisy chaining.”

Web 2.0

The term Web 2.0 – with its knowing nod to upgraded computer applications – describes the next generation of online use. Web 2.0 identifies the consumer as a major contributor in the evolution of the internet into a two-way medium.

Web based

Requiring no software to access an online service or function, other than a web browser and access to the Internet.

Web beacon

See beacon.

Web portal

A website or service that offers a broad array of resources and services, such as email, forums, search engines, and online shopping malls.

White list

A list of contacts that users deem are acceptable to receive email from and should not be filtered or sent to the trash or spam folder.

Wi-Fi (Wireless fidelity)

The ability to connect to the internet wirelessly. Internet ‘hotspots’ in coffee shops and airports.etc use this technology.


Third party lightweight web application that can be embedded in a 3G mobile phone.

XHTML (Extensible hypertag markup language)

The language used to create most mobile internet sites.

XML (Extensible markup language)

Language used by many internet applications for exchanging information.


The percentage of clicks vs. impressions on an ad within a specific page. Also called ad click rate.

Yield Management

Yield and Revenue Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and influencing advertiser and consumer behavior in order to maximize profits through better selling, pricing, packaging and inventory management, while delivering value to advertisers and site users.

Zero moment of truth (ZMOT) refers to the point in the buying cycle when the consumer researches a product, often before the seller even knows that they exist. The number of consumers researching a product online prior to purchase has been on the rise in recent years as the internet and mobile continue to advance.